Last week’s PR Toolbox included several email marketing service providers that offer a range of solutions to help you take advantage email newsletters to grow and engage with clients. And, while you likely know the importance of sending out a branded, valuable monthly communiqué to your existing clients and prospects, it’s all too easy for it to get pushed ever-down the priority list.
However, with a template and content strategy in place, you can simply drop in the relevant content and have an impressive and relevant email to shoot off to clients in no time. For example, NYC-based Hunter PR won Best Email Newsletter category in PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards with their monthly 511 Newsletter. In it, they use the recurring “5 Things You Need to Know about…,” format to provide clients with valuable insights into new tools and trends, including everything from Pinterest to Google+. You don’t need to always be sharing thought leadership through your emails, however. It can be as easy as a list of favorite discoveries, agency news and client or partner highlights. Take a page out of Of A Kind’s “10 Things We’re Doing,” email, or No Subject’s gorgeous Full-Plate email, seen below.
5 Agency Newsletter Must-Haves
When readers open your newsletter they instantly know who the email is from, why it’s relevant to them, and what they need to do to take advantage of what you have shared with them. Follow the following 5 principles will help you approach and evaluate the efficacy of your email newsletter.
Use a template
The beauty of email marketing service providers is that once you create your initial email, you can easily replicate and work from saved templates. Even in the midst of fashion week, an agency newsletter can (and should!) still go out by relying on your team to collaboratively suggest and create content for your newsletter, dropping in the content and scheduling the send.
Include strong calls to action
In addition to being a clear representation of your agency’s brand, your email newsletter should have an explicit message and encourage readers to take some kind of concrete action. Whether it’s giving you a call to discuss a new service, RSVP for an event, or subscribe to the Spotify playlist your team put together, be clear about what you want the reader to do with the content you have shared.
Make clients feel good
Make existing clients feel good about their choice to work with you, and prospective clients want more of what you have, by sharing valuable industry insight in the form of tips, advice, industry insight and POVs on new technologies and tools that will help them to do their jobs better. A valuable nugget of data gives them something to share in their next staff meeting, which makes them look good, and helps build the collaborative, mutually-beneficial relationship you seek.
Keep emails short and sweet, with the appropriate calls-to-action to drive them back to your agency website for the full story. For example, instead of including a full case-study, share one strong result and then link back to your blog or case studies page. Considering that email open rates on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, increased 80% in just the first half of 2012, it’s important to make your emails not just readable but visually appealing on a variety of devices. Make sure you test how your emails render on smartphones.
Extend the conversation
Include links to your agency website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter handle, LinkedIn homepage, etc not only in a bottom footer, but included as part of the content. Ask a question and ask readers to answer it over Twitter, give away a left0ver gift bag on Instagram by asking people to take a picture of their favorite summer essential and use an agency and client hashtag. And of course, your email should include a visually obvious and easy way for individual readers to get in touch with you. On days when you send out an email, make sure you have a plan in place to field additional calls and emails.
Do you send out a monthly newsletter? If so, how do you approach the process?